Follow the Money: Tracking Illicit Financial Flows and Countering of Sanctions’ Evasion Schemes

30 May 2023, Belgrade, Serbia

10:00 - 10:30

Welcome coffee & registration

10:30 - 11:00

Opening remarks

11:00 - 12:30

Panel 1: Investigating and tackling illicit financial flows and undue foreign influence. Use of anti-money laundering and investment screening mechanisms

An additional hurdle presents the “proficiency” of accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, corporate service providers, and investment advisers who facilitate illicit transactions and hide the ill-gained wealth. In order to promote the use of international best standards, the panellists will make an overview of the latest financial investigation techniques, anti-money laundering practices (including the 6th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive), and mechanisms for investment screening (based on Regulation (EU) 2019/452). The session will further discuss the possible social reuse of confiscated assets generated through crime.

12:30 - 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:15

Panel 2: Protecting media pluralism and challenging disinformation

The European democracy action plan warns that the fast expansion of online platforms has created new vulnerabilities, made it more challenging to secure a free and plural media, and exposed the political process to disinformation. Moreover, digitalisation enabled new ways for online harassment and hate speech towards journalists, in parallel to the abusive use of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). The panellists in the session will share good practices on the role of the investigative media and underline that efforts to counter disinformation should extend beyond information operations and strategic communication. Future policies and actions should focus on exposing state and media capture across the region.

14:15 - 15:45

Panel 3: Key steps towards efficient sanctioning of corruption and illicit finance

The session will explore the good practices, as well as the governance gaps that prevent the efficient sanctioning of nationals and foreigners for corruption, illicit enrichment, non-disclosure of assets, illegal lobbying, and money laundering. The panellists will discuss if the same challenges also prevent the efficient enforcement of the sanctions against Russia. They will identify the sanctions’ evasion schemes, and underline the reforms needed to counter them.

15:45 - 16:10

Coffee Break

16:10 - 17:00

Panel 4: Preparing for a post-war world: rebuilding political and economic alliances

In conclusion, the participants will share their insights and predictions on how geopolitical alliances, economic ties, and supply chains will evolve after the war in Ukraine. The reconstruction of affected countries will demand significant foreign investments and aid, highlighting the need for a new foreign policy geared more strongly towards the West. Governments and civil society organizations would need to establish robust monitoring mechanisms and transparency in the distribution of recovery funds, as well as the investigation and prosecution of past crimes. Assistance will also be required for states that have shifted their geopolitical orientation in order to build functional rule of law mechanisms.



Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine has intensified existing geopolitical tensions throughout 2022 and into 2023, exposing persistent rule of law deficiencies in Southeast Europe (SEE-9). Illicit finance is among the most potent sharp power tools that the Kremlin has deployed to undermine democratic processes in Southeast Europe. Its usage has also provided fertile ground for the corrosive influence of China and other authoritarian powers.
In order to increase the capacity of its civil society and government partners to monitor, diagnose and tackle corruption and close governance gaps, the Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P) is holding a summer school on 30th May 2023 in Belgrade. The event will present the best methods and tools for tracking illicit financial flows and countering of sanctions’ evasion schemes.

The working language of the event is English.

If you want to attend the event in person, please sent an email to with your name and surname, the name and type of organisation you represent.

If you want to follow the event online, please register.

The R2GP4 project, coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria benefits from a € 1.5 million grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. The aim of the project is to implement shared anti-corruption and good governance solutions in Southeast Europe through innovative practices and public-private partnerships.

Milena Lazarević

Programme director and co-founder at European Policy Centre - CEP

Milena Lazarević is one of the founders and Programme Director at the European Policy Centre (CEP), independent, non-profit think-tank based in Belgrade, Serbia. As the Programme Director, she is in charge of the overall programmatic strategy of CEP as well as developing and managing the quality assurance system and processes within the organisation. She also takes the lead on numerous good governance related projects implemented by CEP. Milena is a proven expert in the field of public administration reform, in Serbia and in the Western Balkan region.

Todor Galev

Director of Research, Center for the Study of Democracy

Todor has over 20-year experience in managing and carrying out scientific and policy research, covering Bulgaria, SEE and EU, in the field of socio-economic and sociological studies on state capture and corruption, foreign political influence and disinformation, energy sector governance, etc. In recent years Todor has specialized in use of open public data and big data analyses for evaluation, benchmarking and monitoring of public policies and their implementation. He has participated in the development of original multi-disciplinary methodological frameworks, elaborated and applied by CSD in various European countries to analyse political corruption, state capture and foreign interference. Among them are: CSD outstanding Kremlin Playbook series, implemented until recently in 18 European countries to assess the Russian economic footprint in their economies and how Kremlin has leveraged its economic presence to influence decision-making, incl. through the means of media capture and disinformaiton; State Capture Assessment Diagnostics – a novel risk assessment approach, offering both national- and sectoral-level estimation, piloted in number of European countries; and SceMaps methodology and interactive analytics data platform, offering risks assessment of corruption-related behaviour in public procurement through original “red flag” indicators. Before joining CSD, Todor worked for the Institute of Sociology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and lectured university courses on science technology studies and social science research methods. Prior to this, he defended PhD in Sociology of technological innovations in 2006 at the same institute.

Dr. Vanya Petrova

Senior Analyst, Economic Program, Center for Study of Democracy, Sofia

Before joining the CSD at the beginning of 2022, Vanya Petrova was a Research Associate at Fudan University, where she dedicated herself to applied economics, law, and economics, and international finance. Among the major studies she conducted are natural experiments examining the effects of: staggered legal changes in prostitution laws on sexual crime, human trafficking, and marriage/divorce rates; removal of HIV-travel restrictions in China and other control countries on the spread and transmission routes of sexually-transmitted diseases. Besides, Vanya has been actively engaged in research projects on shadow banking in developing economies; renationalization in China; fintech and welfare; financial inclusion and bank profitability. In addition, she has participated in the organization and hosting of many conferences and seminars (e.g., World Economic Forum-Fudan University; International Monetary Fund talks on fiscal policies, etc.). Furthermore, between 2018-2019, Dr. Petrova served at the World Economic Forum. As a member of the Global Future Council on Financial and Monetary Systems, she contributed by shaping the agenda on financial inclusion, and financial and digital literacy. Moreover, she coordinated the launch and implementation of the Financial Literacy Innovation Challenge— a global competition to encourage fintechs that enhance financial inclusion in innovative ways. Vanya is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network. She graduated with a PhD in Economics from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Dragan Marinković

Director's assistant, Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, Ministry of Finance, Serbia

Dragan Marinković was born in Belgrade in 1982 in Belgrade, where he completed elementary and secondary education. He graduated in 2007 from the Belgrade University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of International Relations, after which he completed specialist academic studies within the US Studies Module. In the period 2009-2017 he was employed by the Security-Information Agency. In October 2017 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering. He has actively participated in drafting laws and bylaws of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, preparation and implementation of IPA EU-funded projects and supervision of operations related to financial management and control. He represented the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering at a number of national and international conferences and seminars on the prevention of money laundering, terrorism financing and financing of proliferation of WMD. Dragan Marinković is a member of the National Coordination Body for the Prevention of Proliferation of WMD.

Ana Cvetinović-Toskić

Executive Director of Belgrade-based CSO Partners Serbia

Ana Toskić Cvetinović, LL.M, is the Executive Director of Belgrade-based CSO Partners Serbia. Prior to joining Partners Serbia in 2010, she specialized in the field of international criminal law and transitional justice, by working for civil and judicial sector, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Through her work in Partners Serbia, Ana designed and led number of programs in the area of rule of law and good governance, including the capacity building of inspectors on the new regulatory and institutional inspection oversight framework, capacity building of defense lawyers on the reformed Criminal Procedure Code in Serbia, support to establishing Lawyers’ Academy and developing its programmatic and operational capacities, etc. Ana also specializes on information management and data integrity (including the access to information, data secrecy and data protection), where she performs analytical, advocacy and capacity building work for civil and public sector on their rights and obligations in this field. She is an accredited trainer at the National Academy for Public Administration in the field of data protection, and holds certificates as Anti-corruption Practitioner and trainer on Protection of Whistle-blowers.

Stephen Reimer

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Financial Crime & Security Studies, RUSI, UK

Stephen has a BA in political science and international development studies from McGill University and a MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics. He currently works as a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a Whitehall-based defence and security think tank, where he researches and writes about terrorism financing and other aspects of financial crime.

Ivica Simonovski

AML/CFT Consultant, Lecturer - Combating Corruption, DIILS New Port, USA

Ivica Simonovski received his PhD in International Politics at the Faculty of Law, Ss. Cyril and Methodius of Skopje. He is a financial analyst within the Financial Intelligence Office of the Republic of North Macedonia, with 15 years of experience in financial investigation and financial analysis. Since 2018, he is a certified AML/CFT evaluator by Moneyval Committee - Council of Europe. He is а Lecturer at the Academy of Banking and Information Technology in Skopje and Defense Institute for International Legal Studies in New Port, USA.

Andrei Macsut

Senior Researcher, Romanian Academic Society

Andrei Macsut is a researcher for SAR, specialized in public integrity and with a PhD in anticorruption from the Central European University. He has been involved in projects dealing with transparency, good governance, anticorruption and civic engagement. His list of authored and co-authored publications include research papers and reports for the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Transparency International, the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) network or the Romanian Journal of Political Science (PolSci), approaching themes such as state capture, public procurement, governance, and public integrity.

Ivana Jeremić

Editor, Balkan Insight, Serbia

Ivana Jeremic is an experienced editor, investigative journalist and dedicated fact-checker currently working for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN). Her career began in 2012 at the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), where she served as an investigative reporter and fact-checker until 2017. In the same year, she was promoted to the position of deputy-editor at CINS. In 2019, she joined BIRN's Balkan Insight team as a deputy-editor. Alongside her work at BIRN, Ivana has actively contributed to various fact-checking initiatives. Since 2013, she has been a fact-checker at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, demonstrating her commitment to ensuring accuracy and accountability in reporting. In 2017, as a member of CINS, she received esteemed recognition, including the European Press Prize and the Anthony Lewis Award. She also received the Balkan Fact-checking Award in the same year, an initiative by the International Fact-Checking Network that promotes the importance of fact-checking among journalists in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. With a specialization in investigative reporting, Ivana has fearlessly tackled complex subjects such as money laundering, smuggling, organized crime, public procurements, private security, media, and digital rights. Her in-depth investigations have successfully exposed the intricate connections between organized crime groups and the state, bringing corruption to light and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. In 2021, Ivana completed the European Broadcasting Union's program for media trainers, enhancing her skills in digital security, advanced research, and fact-checking.

Anesa Omeragić

Events and Communications Manager at European Policy Centre (CEP), Belgrade

As the manager for communications and event organisation, Anesa helps spread the key messages of CEP, equally to all target groups. Her responsibilities are direct and indirect communication with the media and event organisation, preparation of statements and press releases, media invitations and communication regarding event details, etc. Her responsibilities include managing the organisation’s official website – writing reports on CEP events and activities also posting them on website, editing the graphic, visual and textual content of the website and editing all CEP publications – texts and materials on the organisation's website, including the quarterly newsletter and printed publications, as well as maintaining the profile of the organisation on social media and communication with the public through these networks. Anesa completed her Bachelor studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, international politics module, and her master’s degree in political sciences at the same university. During her undergraduate studies, she interned at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy and at the office of the Protector of Citizens. She is an alumna of the 23rd generation of the Belgrade Open School’s Future Studies programme, the 1st generation of the Civil Rights Defenders School of Human Rights, and the 2nd generation of LIBEK’s Academy of Liberal Politics. At the Faculty of Political Sciences, she completed the Applied Rhetoric course and the Debate course. She joined CEP in February 2017 as an assistant for communications and event organisation. She has been in the position of coordinator since January 2019. She speaks English and uses German.

Bojana Savović

Deputy Public Prosecutor at Higher Public Prosecutor’s office in Belgrade

Ms Savović is currently a Deputy Public Prosecutor at Higher Public Prosecutor’s office in Belgrade, specialised for anti-corruption. She was born in Belgrade Serbia where she graduated from Faculty of Law. She has master’s degree in criminal law from the University of Belgrade. She is responsible for prosecuting large numbers of criminal offences such as: extortion, fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement, bribery, corruption etc. In September 2021 Ms Savović was a lecturer at XIV prosecutioral counselling on the Financial investigation panel – challenges in conducting financial investigations in the combat against organised crime and corruption. She is author and co-author of many publications and articles such as Criminal law protection against violent behavior at sports events, 2022. Year, Serbian football - comparative legal challenges and perspectives II and she is one of the autors of the Manual for writing indictments.

Nenad Vuković

President of the Serbian Association of Lobbyists, Serbia

Nenad Vuković, a distinguished legal professional based in Belgrade, Serbia, completed his legal studies at Belgrade University and successfully passed the bar exam, launching his career as an attorney. Known for his expertise in various aspects of law, he has established himself as a reputable advocate for his clients. Motivated by a desire to expand his knowledge and make a significant contribution to the legal field, Nenad pursued a master's degree at Belgrade University. His master's thesis, titled 'Confiscation of Assets Acquired through Corruption,' delved into the complex subject of combating corruption and explored the legal mechanisms for confiscating ill-gotten gains. In addition, Nenad has published numerous research articles in the field of lobbying, further showcasing his dedication to advancing knowledge in this area. Recognised as the first registered lobbyist in Serbia, Nenad Vuković has emerged as a key figure in the country's lobbying landscape. As the President of the Serbian Association of Lobbyists, he plays a vital role in promoting ethical lobbying practices and advocating for transparent decision-making processes. Through his unwavering commitment to the law and his pioneering efforts in the realm of lobbying, Nenad continues to shape the legal framework of Serbia and contribute to the development of a fair and just society.

Radmila Dragičević-Dičić

Former Judge of the Supreme Court, Serbia

Radmila Dragičević-Dičić has over 20 years of experience as a criminal judge in cases of TIP, She has been developing court practice in Serbia and abroad, and is well acquainted with international conventions, special investigative methods, and the rights of victims. She gained extensive knowledge and experience through cooperation, with civil sector, UNODC, OSCE, CoE also within various working groups, lectures in Europe and Asia, and by participating in international conferences.

Bart Scheffers

Expert on anti-corruption and public sector integrity, Austria, and member of the R2G4P International Advisory Board

Bart is an independent consultant working with civil society, international organizations and the private sector on public sector integrity and anti-corruption. Earlier, he worked for the Open Society Foundations, the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), as well as for several financial institutions in the Netherlands.

Aneta Arnaudovska

PhD, Independent consultant and PECB ISO 37001 Lead Implementer, former RAI Senior Anti-corruption Advisor, Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) - Secretariat

In the period of 06.05.2019-06.05.2023 Ms. Arnaudovska was holding the position of the Senior Anti-corruption Advisor (international core staff) at the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative Secretariat. Before joining the RAI Secretariat, she was a criminal trial judge (1996-2006), and the first director of the Academy for Judges and Public Prosecutors of North Macedonia (2006-2018). She has graduated at the Law Faculty, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje where she earned the PhD degree on the issue of “Legal argumentation and the quality of criminal judgments”. She was a national member of two committees in the Council of Europe- the Consultative Council of European Judges- CCJE Working Group (2004-2018), Head of the Macedonian Delegation in the GRECO (2012-2017) and a CCJE Gender Reporter (2016-2018). Since 2020, Ms. Arnaudovska is a member of the European Commission Expert Group on European Judicial Training. She was a part time lecturer on criminal substantive and procedural law at the American College and International Balkan University in Skopje, North Macedonia. Ms. Arnaudovska is the PECB ISO 37001 (Anti-Bribery Management System) Lead Implementer and trainer.

Saša Đorđević

Field Coordinator for Serbia and Montenegro, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, Belgrade, Serbia

Sasa Djordjevic joined the Global initiative against transnational organized crime in September 2020. He is researching organized crime and corruption in the Western Balkans and supports the GI-TOC activities in Serbia and Montenegro. Previously, Sasa worked for almost 12 years as a researcher at the Serbian-based think-tank Belgrade centre for security policy covering police reform, community policing, and hooliganism. In 2019, Sasa enrolled PhD studies at the Faculty of criminal justice and security in Slovenia.

Strahinja Subotić

Programme Manager and Senior Researcher at the European Policy Centre (CEP – Belgrade)

Strahinja is Programme Manager and Senior Researcher at the European Policy Centre (CEP – Belgrade) – a think tank he joined in early 2017. As the head of the Europe&Us programme area, his key fields of expertise are the enlargement policy and EU affairs. His other areas of expertise include geopolitics and the involvement of external actors such as China, Russia, and Turkey in the Western Balkans. Strahinja is also currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Faculty of Political Science (University of Belgrade).

Daniela Mineva

Senior Analyst, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia

Daniela Mineva works as a Senior Analyst for the Center for the Study of Democracy and has a 20 years’ experience with EU and other donors financed projects in the areas of anti-corruption, management of EU funds and Cohesion policy, innovation policy, competitiveness, and hidden economy. She participated in the development of a number of national S&T policy-related documents, such as the Regional Innovation Strategy for the South-West region of Bulgaria, the and e-Bulgaria reports. She is a country correspondent at ERAWATCH, where she participated in the projects “Contribution of policies at the regional level to the realization of the European Research Area” and “European Observatory of Research-Active Universities and National Public Research Funding Agencies” and worked on a Feasibility study on establishing a European platform for cooperation between labour inspectorates, and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies, to prevent and fight undeclared work.